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BOSTON — As COVID-19 once again threatens to shut down performing arts venues across New England, the New England Musicians Relief Fund (NEMRF) is stepping up efforts to help professional musicians who suffer financial hardship intensified by the pandemic. NEMRF is now accepting new applications from musicians in need. Founded in 2020 in response to the acute crisis created by the COVID-19 shutdown of live music, NEMRF has given out nearly $500,000 in direct relief to musicians who lost work.
Infections from the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are currently spreading at record breaking rates. Local and state governments are re-instituting restrictions on live performances, causing some venues to cut back on live entertainment. The moves have been devastating for professional musicians.
“Ticket sales have stalled, shows are being canceled, and professional musicians who depend on this time of the year to make the bulk of their income are left feeling like once again the rug has been pulled from under them,” said Gabriel Langfur Rice, trombonist and president of the New England Musicians Relief Fund. “Medical bills, rent, child care, studio time, and the bills that were put off during the pandemic are adding up to a financial crisis for too many of our colleagues.”
For those musicians who continue to persevere, the threat of extraordinary hardship looms larger than ever, especially with the expiration of unemployment and other pandemic assistance. The road to recovery for live music and professional musicians will be long. NEMRF is committed to helping musicians facing hardship for years to come, acting as a safety net for musicians facing extraordinary expenses or catastrophic income loss.
The New England Musicians Relief Fund is currently accepting applications from musicians facing extraordinary hardship. Musicians can apply for relief funds at NEMRF.org/apply.
Supporters wishing to make a tax-deductible donation to the New England Musicians Relief Fund may do so at NEMRF.org/takeaction.